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Which graphite products and recipes do you use?

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Here's the graphite we use:

Maximum Velocity Premium Pinewood Car Graphite Powder | Easy Application tip for Derby Car Wheels & Axles | Graphite Lubricant for Pine Derby Car Kits

I was a pretty experienced pinewood derby car builder (5 kids + an adult category for many years). Graphite is definitely your friend! Lots of good advice already shared here!

  • That's the brand I use, too. I began with cheaper stuff, then tried this. No contest. — FeralPatrick
  • ordered yesterday from the death star (amazon) — dr_dodge
  • used moly, graphite, and vodka to make a lube, wow, works good (on slot cars, too) — dr_dodge

$19 for more fine grind (44micron) graphite than you can use in a lifetime. The label says mix 10% by volume to mixed epoxy for "low-friction exterior coatings with increased scuff resistance and durability". Their words not mine. Also can create it's own static charge while mixing and an inhalation hazzard!

  • A low friction exterior coating. I wonder if that would work on car bodies to reduce drag on the sides of my track. I can see I'm gonna have to test this one too! — Chaos_Canyon
  • wonder if you could use a small piano wire and create a "bushed" wheel that way — dr_dodge
  • I have a jar of moly like that, and have been experimenting using on the slot cars, made a paste of moly and Lebelle 107 to lube the gears, and it seems to do well — dr_dodge
  • Any Success with this graphite? — D_Built_Garage
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Chaos_Canyon 2/17/23

I have two main types of graphite, one from an online shop on TradeMe and one from Hobby City. Both work equally well. 

Very intrigued by the iso idea. Would make getting the graphite down into the wheel a bit easier I suspect. I can see some serious testing in my future.

I also have a can of some spray from bunnings that also works ok for cars that just need a bit of a boost - normally I only use it for cars when testing my track if they're a bit slow etc

  • Yeah, the iso really works. It covers everything it touches with graphite, including the inner wheel hub that rubs on the chassis, and the inner axle channel which is great for stock castings (if the axle happens to be free-spinning).). — FeralPatrick

Great discussion! I've been using three types that have already been mentioned: XLR8, Maximum Velocity, and Hob-E-Lube.

I generally start with Hob-E-Lube on cars while wheel farming, then switch to the others with the long applicators after assembly to get into the wheel hubs easier.

I'm not really convinced that one brand is really better than the other. I think the "Secrete Sauce" is just having a great set of wheels. 

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Spirit_Of_64 2/17/23

It just occurs to me I should maybe link to the video I mentioned earlier IRT hardware store/industrial grade graphite...

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EnZedRacing 4/10/23

Just a follow up ladies and gentlemen.  I bought some extra fine graphite from Ebay and also some isopropal alcohol (?) 

Mixed the fine with the course, also made up a 2-1 ratio with the alcohol and ended up testing 3 different mixes. The IPA 2-1 worked a treat! All 3 cars were exactly the same model with similar 'stock' speed.  The IPA mix was consistently quicker and the mixed blend was the slowest. 

I've sent 3 cars to the 35g tournament (Flips Racing) with all 3 different graphite tests so it will be interesting to see how they go. (The escort has the IPA, the Ford has the ultra fine and the fantasy has the blend of course/fine. Watch this space....

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Numbskull 4/10/23

blood, sweat, and tears.

Awesome thanks for the update. I just made a 2:1 ipa/graphite literally just now and I'm looking forward to trying it out.

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Kingjester 5/19/23

The graphite i use is jsut the standard pinewood derby graphite you can get at hobby lobby,I usually put a bit on the axel that sticks out of the wheel a bit then let it sit for about 5-10 minutes and then repeat with the other side,I've been also getting used to sanding my wheels with sandpaper,i roll my car on it until all wheels have been properly sanded

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